Developers say that a new 10,000 home town can meet the employment growth and housing need of Brighton and Hove while helping the city’s digital economy to expand.
Proponents of the proposed Mayfield market town near to Sayers Common claim the 30,000 population town will help alleviate housing pressures in neighbouring towns and cities.
And they argue that a new town with its own infrastructure is a less “harmful” way to meet housing demand in the county than a series of add-ons of thousands of homes to existing towns such as Horsham.
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But opponents to the scheme say the proposed development is “unwanted” and “unneeded” and has already blighted the community before a brick has been laid.
Director Lee Newlyn told The Argus that the site would not expand beyond 10,000 homes and was not designed as a commuter town to support London workers.
Instead new residents will work in the town itself or commute to Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Lewes and Brighton and Hove.
The town will also have facilities to allow Brighton digital companies to expand.
Mr Newlyn said: “A new town location here was the recommendation of consultations for Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex councils in 2010, we didn’t fly in from Mars with this suggestion.
“The size of the town is designed around the size of population for an academy.
“It is designed around walkable neighbourhoods, we want people to be able to walk to nearby facilities and reduce the need for a private car.”
Developers say they won’t submit a planning application for the proposal but are hoping to be incorporated into the local plans of Brighton and Hove, Mid Sussex, Horsham and Crawley which are currently in the long-drawn out process of gaining planning inspectorate approval.
However, the team are still hopeful of starting building in two to three years pending council permission in a project that would take 20 years to complete.
Anthony Watts Williams, a 20 year resident of Wineham and founder of Locals Against Mayfield Building Sprawl, said: “Two district councils don’t want this, two MPs don’t want this and local people don’t want this.
“There will be seven villages that will be completely disrupted and the wildlife will be lost.
“If I thought this had no chance of ever happening I would not have used my time forming this group but these are powerful London businessmen and two peers sitting in the House of Lords behind these plans.”